Tag Archives: child maintenance

A Safe Place to Talk?

Has talking to each other become impossible? Are the things you’ve got to sort out too difficult? Does it feel as if there’s a brick wall between you that you can’t bring down?

Mediation offers a safe, neutral environment in which you can tackle your impossible problems. The kids. The money. Where you are each going to live. The mediator structures your conversation, sets ground rules so that no-one feels put down by the other one, makes sure you each say what is on your mind, and – critically – makes sure the other person has heard and understood it.


Focus mediators are trained and practised in addressing any power imbalances. They are completely neutral: they don’t take sides. Most importantly, they are non-judgemental. Nothing shocks them. The mediator keeps you focussed on the plans you need to make for your future, rather than dwelling on the past. She uses her wealth of experience to help you both knock down that wall and build a future.

However, this ideal scenario can be knocked for six if a couple comes to mediation intent on playing out their battles in front of an audience. Mediators can help people for whom talking has become difficult, but they will find it nigh-on impossible to help people who insist on dominating the process, no matter how many times the mediator repeats the ground rules of ‘no shouting, no interrupting, no threatening, no undermining’. Mediation can only help those who want it to work and are willing to set aside their old habits, under the mediator’s guidance. The mediator has a right to end the mediation if she feels the process is being abused.

What’s your story?

Any parent facing six weeks of summer holidays has the challenge of keeping the kids entertained, and if you have separated from your partner, the challenge is even tougher.

The Oxford Story Museum does a fantastic job at offering diversion for families who love reading. http://www.storymuseum.org.uk


Their imaginative conversion of a rambling old house on Pembroke Street now offers rooms where children can take part in a fabulous array of book-related activities.

There’s an Illustration Exhibition with a live ‘Illustrator Zoo’; the chance to dress up and sit on the Talking Throne; a giant bed, where all sorts of people are reading bed-time stories – and there are rooms rigged out to feel like a scene out of people’s favourite books – Treasure Island, Narnia – where you can snuggle up and read stories to your heart’s content.

We all love stories. As adults, we develop the knack of creating a story in our heads about how life is treating us – usually unfairly ­– and when our marriage breaks down, that story becomes a script we hang on to, to prove how badly the other person has behaved, and how awful they made us feel.

In family mediation, those stories are important. Focus mediators always start by asking each person to spend an hour just talking about themselves, in private, in complete confidence, so that the mediator gets the hang of how things look from both points of view, and each of you feels heard. But when the joint sessions start, at which you come together with the mediator to discuss the issues you’ve got to sort out – arrangements for the children, what’s happening about the house, how is maintenance going to work, and what about the pensions – those stories become less important. It’s not about who did what anymore; it’s about who is going to do what, so that you can both move forward into your independent lives. Not exactly stepping through the wardrobe, and not nearly so much fun, but a constructive, reasonable, mature way of dealing with divorce. It’s comparatively quick, and cheap – and the kids will thank you for it.

Controllers – Do They Come in Pairs?

Often in mediation we see the couple separately for their first meetings. This gives people an opportunity to be very frank and open about their situation. Often one will say “S/he’s a controller, and I’m unsure I can cope with mediation!” Then the other person comes and says the same. What might be happening? Each clearly feels they’re not getting their way enough. They have come to resent and oppose the control or influence involved in being part of a couple. Whether this is reasonable or unreasonable as a matter of opinion.

So for example, if Harry went out alone to the pub every night, their partner might object, then Harry might complain of being controlled, but who would be at fault?


What if John complained Sally spent too much money on shoes and the family had a huge debts and Sally had 1000 pairs of shoes? Sally might say John was controlling, if he tried to stop Sally buying shoes, but would his actions be inappropriate and who would be at fault?

These exchanges are the overt text, the surface conversation. What is really going on is what I call the subtext and it is the subtext that is so interesting. It is a matter of opinion whether there are inappropriate control issues as opposed to an expectation of a reasonable conversation about something important with the person with whom you share your life. A conversation might be initiated by the so called controller in the hope of influencing the other person to change behaviour which they feel is threatening the foundation of the relationship. Whether this attempt to influence or control is reasonable or unreasonable is depends on your point of view. If the relationship is strong these exchanges are productive, useful and keep the relationship on a sound footing. If the relationship is struggling, the exchanges may become aggressive, negative, recriminatory or  accusatory. Things may have gone too far for the couple to put things right, however much talking they do. Perhaps reasonable exchanges about what is fair and right in a relationship needed to be had years before, before the situation became irretrievable. So influencing your partner through rational discussion is vital to a healthy relationship. This is appropriate and to be expected.

However, it is easy to think of situations where one person is seeking to control the other inappropriately. Examples might be trying to prevent them seeing their friends and family, to cut them off from other relationships, force them to eat, drink or dress in a certain way, or control their conversation, thoughts or beliefs. These would be issues where controlling behaviour would be inappropriate and usually wrong. So accusations of control need exploration and not just to be accepted at face value. We need to unpick the behaviour behind the assertions and ask what is really going on.

So people should change their understanding of the word ‘Control’ and dig deeper. They should think about what is really being asked, is it a reasonable or unreasonable request?

At the point where the so called controller says, in answer to a question about a request: “OK, it doesn’t matter, it’s not important.” there are two possibilities:

The first is just that it’s not important

the second is in getting close to terminal – they giving up on both on their partner and the relationship, it doesn’t matter any more. Then they may well find themselves in family mediation, quite possibly with me, saying “My ex is a controller . . . ”

For more information go to http://www.focus-mediation.co.uk


The costs of litigating a case should be in proportion to the value of the dispute. Official – but forgotten repeatedly.

The Ministry of Justice, the judges, everyone – says the costs of going to law should bear some sort of rational relationship to the value of the dispute. Yet this rule is frequently and flagrantly ignored. Focus Mediation frequently finds the main issue in dispute in mediation is the costs of proceedings at court. So, in one case where flat owners were arguing over noise between their flats (one flat was over the other), the costs were £62,000.   There was at the pre-trial review. The judge heard that the budget for costs to go to trial was a further £30,000 including the lawyers and the experts. The agreed costs of the works of noise proofing between the flats was under £4000! The costs had become the issue. If one party could ‘Win’ then the other would lose twice, they’d .have to pay all the costs. The judge had little paddy and said they had to mediate. Now this is unusual, as actually the courts have no power to force people to mediate, but he was incensed enough at the flagrant breach of the rule of proportionality on costs to send everyone away for mediation. The Focus mediator settled the case. One flat owner bought the other’s flat, not even a result the judge could not have imposed he’d wanted to. This is a classic example of conflict having a life of its own, of the disputants losing the plot and ending up in a ridiculous situation, where their litigation costs were the main issue. There are many reasons this can happen.


The lawyers may advise that they cannot advise as to whether someone’s going to win the case or  not, until they have seen adequate “disclosure” of documents, witness statements  and expert evidence, enabling them to advise who is likely to have the best evidence and hence who will win or lose. The problem is that the cost of getting the case this far alone can be out of all proportion to the value of the case. Suddenly the issue is no longer just the liability for or ownership of the decombobulating sprocket, there is another issue – who is going to pay all the costs? Since the Jackson Reforms in 2013 there is far more pressure to mediate and a refusal to mediate can mean you don’t get all your costs even if you win. Nonetheless the number of mediations is still not rising to the levels required by any sort of rational approach to resolving court disputes. Why not?

At Focus we wonder this all the time. We think there are many reasons including:

  • The conflict has a life of its own, one or both parties cannot back down. Their irrational emotional right brain is engaged, they feel they simply must win, even though the costs make it a pointless and empty victory even if they win and they may lose but
  • Backing down is unthinkable. The identity of one or more participants is threatened by not winning or fighting
  • The adrenaline rushes of the amygdala in the brain is priming the fight, freeze or flee -a pre-historic response to conflict. The modern interpretation of fleeing or fighting the tiger can often be the ritualised combat of your chosen combat representatives, your lawyers
  • The costs may be insane but ‘It’s because I’m worth it’. This can often be the case in a divorce, where one party may want to punish the other with massive costs, drag out the fight, to try to get control of their resolution process (in their dreams, it has a life of its own). They may seek the fight for continuing connection, to delay the waiting void after it is over, the ritual of litigation may be an expression of their grief and loss, there are so many reasons.
  • A completely mistaken understanding of likely court adjudicated outcomes. For example, the divorce client arguing over a family pot of no more than £500,000, whose London lawyer had advised her that their hourly rate of £600 was worth it, as they would get her such a good settlement the extra money would pay the costs. Again, in your dreams! However, by the time the truth dawns, it is too late.
  • In some cases there may be a conflict of interest between the lawyers and their clients over costs. The National Audit Office reported on this in their report into Family Mediation in 2007. They found lawyers in some instances have a contrary interest to their clients to earn fees and that resolving a divorce by mediation was 75% quicker than going to court and cost a fraction of litigation. This isn’t true of many lawyers, who do refer to mediation, it is just that many don’t or leave it too late to save much.

So what can you do? Like many things the answer is both simple and hard to do:

  • Have a sense of proportion, work out the value of what you are arguing over. Set a budget for the costs of a sensible percentage of that figure and resist exceeding it. 10/20/30%, something rational.
  • Keep proposing mediation, even if you go to trial and lose, if the other person refuses mediation, you may benefit on a costs order. If you mediate you may well settle the case.
  • Pocket your pride, be ready to engage in resolution and move on with your life

Collateral Damage. The Hidden Cost of the Courts.

Kids come first

“The Randolph Hotel is on fire!” As my bus pulled around the corner, everyone turned to look out of the window: a plume of black smoke was spiralling up from the top of the Randolph’s central tower. People were stopping to stare, and as we moved up the road, we met the inevitable volley of sirens.


A small boy, his eyes shining, turned to his Mum and crowed with excitement. “There’ll be fire engines and hosepipes!” Then his eyes grew troubled. “What if there are kids in there? They’ll get burnt, won’t they? They’ll be trapped…” His anxiety was infectious.

“Oh, don’t worry, said his Mum: they’ll get the kids out first.”

Because kids come first don’t they. Always. It’s one of the unwritten principles of life. We prioritise the needs of the children, because they are vulnerable and they cannot look after themselves. We have to meet their needs.

But how easy is it to apply this principle when a marriage breaks down and all you can think about is where you are going to live? Is it possible to put the kids first – to rescue them from the debris of your marriage – so that their needs come first?

At Focus Mediation, we can help you both face the uncomfortable truths involved in separating your lives, and devise a way forward which makes sure the kids don’t get burnt. We give you a safe, neutral space in which to discuss your hopes and fears. And we can talk to the children themselves, if you think that would help. Sometimes, hearing what they think and knowing what they want to save out of the wreck can be very useful.

Exam Time in Schools- What price do children pay when parents are breaking up?


When parents’ relationships break down, the aftershock is felt by all those around them. The first to be affected are often the children.

In November last year, Resolution (1) commissioned research which surveyed 14-22 year olds about the effect of their parent’s break-up, asking how it had directly affected them.

The survey uncovered that

  • One in five(19%) said they didn’t get the exam results they were hoping
  • The majority (65%) said that their GCSE exam results were affected 
  • 44% said A-levels suffered.
  • 15% said they had to move schools, which may have had a knock-on effect on exam results.

Children also experienced difficulties away from the exam room.

  • Almost a quarter (24%) said that they struggled to complete homework, essays or assignments. And
  • more than one in 10 (11%) said they found themselves “getting into more trouble at school, college or university,” and
  • 12% confessed to skipping lessons.

Parents often ask us how they can minimise the effects on children and reduce the impact that their break-up has on their children’s academics and potentially their future career prospects.

At Focus Mediation, our mediators will keep your children firmly in the centre of the picture when discussing divorce and separation. We can help you to help your children in the following ways:

1 By keeping it out of court

Mediation is a way to work out how best to separate in a way which has the least impact on your children. Going to court is hard on those involved and those around them- it’s how you imagine it and ten times worse in terms of stress and often in terms of time spent and costs incurred.

2 Make agreements about what you say and do in front of the children

In mediation we can help you to set ground rules for yourselves about how you will speak to each other and conduct yourselves in front of the children and the extent to which they will be involved in what is going on for you. This is invaluable when feelings are still raw and emotions difficult to contain.

3 Make contact arrangements children-focused

Our mediators can help you to make agreements which meet your interests whilst keeping the wellbeing of your children in the foreground at all times.

It is important that your children have time to study and time to relax as well as spending time with the two of you.

As mediators we will always test with you the reality of any proposals which could inhibit their ability to learn and to flourish. At the very least we can help you to make child-centred arrangements to get your children through this stressful summer period of exam preparation and performance.

It is difficult enough for young people in this academically competitive world where every grade counts. Most parents will fully support the creation of a plan which eases the pain and the difficulties inevitably caused by their break-up which impact on their children.

4 Joined up Parenting

No child likes to be caught between the two opposing views of the people we are closest to. In mediation, we can also help you to smooth out any foreseeable future bumps in the road: we can help you to look at what happens if you disagree on choices your children make, how you want to communicate with each other and the extent to which you can co-parent in a joined up way, even though you are no longer together.

Having safe parameters within which they can operate is also vital for children, particularly as they grow older and behaviour can become more challenging. Remember: any gaps in communication are easy to exploit for a wily teenager!

5 Speaking to your children, enabling their voices to be heard.

Finally, we offer direct consultation with your children, enabling them to have a voice in the changes taking place. We speak confidentially with them, away from mediation and then, with their agreement, feed back to parents what they want them to hear, without fear of taking sides or hurting your feelings.

Because from what we hear when we consult children, they care as much about you as you do about them.

Any thoughts about this, please do Tweet us 

or share your thoughts on our Facebook page – we welcome your feedback and comments



[1] the body representing 6,500 family law professionals in England and Wales,

Free Easter Activities: Easter on a shoe-string for separating parents

The Easter Holidays are here and many single parents will be trying to work out how to keep their children entertained without it costing the Earth.

At Focus Mediation we are aware of the implications of separation on parents: there is often a desire to make time with your children special and when one household is split into two, this is also the time when you are feeling the pinch financially.

Although the cost of living in London is high, we are also lucky to have a wealth of free events laid on for us. Here are a few offerings which might keep your little ones amused and won’t break the bank! Let us have you feedback on Facebook or Twitter if you go to any good free events so we can pass on your thoughts and recommendations to single parents.

1       The Passion of Jesus- with horses, donkeys and doves!


Wintershall Players are in charge of this piece of theatre with a cast of over 100 which promises to be an amazing specatacle. The performances are on 3rd April at Trafalgar Square at midday and 3.15 pm- see http://www.passionofjesus-trafalgar.co.uk/ for map and details.

2       EGGstraordinary Fun!

From 30 March – 2 April & 7 – 10 April the Bank of England are running free activities for children including an Easter Egg Hunt

“ Children can follow the treasure trail around the museum to hunt for the hidden chicks and egg. There is a chocolate egg for every child who takes part. Children can then express their creativity by decorating an Easter finger puppet to take home. “

See http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/education/Pages/museum/exhibitions/eggstraordinaryfun.aspx for more information about other things taking place such as the “discover Gold” exhibition. It all sounds both tasty and informative.

3 Selfridges Easter Egg Hunt


From 10 am on 2nd,3rd and 4th April. Chocolate goodies are to be found across the 4th floor for those who are looking! Somewhat dangerously located in and around kids toys so be prepared for some window shopping too

4 Easter egg hunt at Gabriel’s Wharf

The organiser’s say: “Come along this Easter Saturday and hunt down delicious chocolate eggs hidden in and around the designer craft shops at Gabriel’s Wharf.”

Date: 4 April 2015

Time: 11:00am – 6:00pm

Venue: Gabriel’s Wharf

Price: Free

Should I book? No

Age Range: All ages

See http://coinstreet.org/events/ for other events on in this area including a mass-sculptural performance at Oxo Tower Wharf perhaps suited more to older children.

 5       Ellie Castle’s Easter Hunt-


This is an interactive performance for 5-10 year olds taking place at the Artworks at Elephant and Castle. The audience help Ellie to find out why the weather has changed in remarkable ways: the sun starts singing, the clouds have gone away and the rain has turned to chocolate!

The event is happening at Art Works Elephant which is a new creative hub working out of shipping containers in Elephant and Castle. Performances take place across the day at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm and last around 40 minutes- an interesting diversion!

And one more.. for the Under 5’s, the Museum of London Docklands has the Mudlark’s Children’s

Gallery where they learn to explore with soft play and moving models. Entry is FREE but you will need to collect a timed ticket from the main desk on arrival. The gallery is open to the public all day during school holidays and at weekends – See more at: http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/docklands/visiting-us/visits-families/under-5s/#sthash.ushY5H0D.dpuf

The Museum also has storytelling, workshops and a host of free family events- check this link for details: http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/docklands/whats-on/family-events/holidays/

Finally netmums.com have a great “Free places to go in Greater London” link : http://www.netmums.com/activities/free-family-fun/best-free-places-to-go-greater-london-region

And another good one: “101 ideas for free family fun”


Wishing you a very happy Easter.

Focus Mediation


Mediation in Oxford: Fast and Affordable: An Outbreak of Sanity for Separating Couples.

Mediation has been around for at least thirty years and is now used by a vast proportion of separating couples. It is actively promoted by the government and the courts as the preferred way for couples to sort out their separation. Oxford judges frequently recommend couples to mediation instead of battling it out in their over-crowded Family Court. They will not start a new case unless the couple has first met with a mediator to find out about mediation. Here is a guide to what is involved when you come to Focus Mediation in Oxford.


You start by coming to a MIAM: a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. This is time spent alone with your Focus mediator, who will want to understand what has happened to you. She then explains the process of mediation. You can come to the MIAM on separate occasions, or you can come as a couple: either way, you get time alone with the mediator and a full explanation of what lies ahead.

Once you had your MIAM, the joint sessions start, spaced to suit you, your timetables and what you can afford. These sessions give you a safe, neutral environment in which you can tackle your issues: the kids, the money, where you are each going to live.

You might start with a session working out a timetable for sharing caring for the children. Or you might launch straight in to disclosing your finances to each other, so that your mediator can write up your Financial Statement; then, when you can see what you’ve got, your mediator will help you make a plan: sell the house, or transfer it to one of you, or keep the house until the children are older and sell it later; set an appropriate level of maintenance … whatever seems best for your particular case, bearing in mind all your circumstances, including the local problems presented by living in an expensive part of the world like Oxford. Focus Mediators are also family lawyers: they know what the solicitors will be looking for and what the court is likely to approve. They can give you helpful legal information to inform your decision-making. You need not feel lost and frightened.

Once you have agreed all the aspects of your settlement (and preferably taken your solicitor’s advice on the proposals), your mediator will record them, and they will be handed to the solicitors who can turn them into a Consent Order, sealed by the Judge. This makes your agreement binding and makes any pension share happen, if you are divorcing. If you are an unmarried couple splitting up then your solicitor can make the agreement binding in another way, so it cannot be re-opened later.

You might have three, four or five joint sessions, depending on how many issues there are to cover and how co-operative you can both be. Focus mediators work fast and effectively: they are dedicated to helping you reach a settlement as quickly and cheaply as possible. Their reputation depends on it!

Focus charges £100 + VAT for each MIAM or £150 + VAT for a joint MIAM, then £125 + VAT per person per hour, with concessionary rates for people on low incomes. The cost per person of a full mediation is usually between £200 each (single session of 1 ½ hours at concessionary rates, no documents) and £1,300 each (4 sessions and two documents on a fully successful mediation at £125 ph). Legal Aid is also available (unlike solicitors, who can no longer offer it).

If you are separating and live in or around Oxford, it would be sensible to come to meet Caroline Friend, Senior Mediator at Focus Mediation. The office is in Summertown at Prama House on South Parade. Caroline can help you quickly and affordably in a matter of weeks, and avoid the horrendous costs and delays involved in court proceedings. Doesn’t that sound like the sane thing to do?

Divorce and Half Term Blues in Oxford

If you are going through divorce or separation, February half term can be a real challenge. No money, no partner, and rotten weather. The children need you to be cheerful, but it’s hard.

At Focus Mediation, we do all we can to get you through this difficult time. Below are two excellent websites giving you ideas for entertaining the kids in and around Oxford at half term.

Looking at the bigger picture, even if you are doing the divorce yourself, using on-line forms, you need some professional help to steer you through your financial settlement. Our mediators can do just that: they will help you and your ex-partner look at the figures, discuss the choices that you have and then draw up a plan, which can be turned into a Consent Order.

They can also help you sort out a suitable way of sharing caring for the children. Our mediators are qualified to talk to children, and then feed back their views to you, if you think that would help you make the right arrangements for them: research shows that when children are involved in mediation, the arrangements made for their care stand a far greater chance of succeeding.

Children feel valued by this process. They feel they have been given a voice in the confusing world of a separating family. It reduces their anxiety and lessens the burden of guilt and responsibility that many of them feel. They often have good ideas about what might work, and their views can clear up conflicting impressions. As their parents, you can feel reassured that you are doing the best possible job in sorting out their future, and you may even find you can communicate better between yourselves because you are working together.

One last Half Term perk: mediation at Focus Mediation in Oxford is free, if you qualify for legal aid. If only one of you qualifies, you both get the assessment meeting (MIAM) and the first joint session free. Why not give it a try? Meanwhile, here’s those websites we promised:

http://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/things-to-do/Oxford                      http://www.weekendatdads.co.uk/

2015-02-16_16-14-14                                                       2015-02-16_16-16-27

Home Sweet Habitat at Pitt Rivers Museum (PRM) – ‘Explore how animals and humans make themselves at home, and build your own little den. Crafts, object handling and a family friendly talk at 3pm.’ Monday 16-Wednesday 18 February 1-4pm. Entrance to PRM is via the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (OUMNH) on Parks Road OX1 3PW. The PRM entrance is at the far wall of the OUMNH.

There’s a whole raft of ‘how to’ activities 14-22 February at the Story Museum, 42 Pembroke Street OX1 1BP including the Teddy Bear Pancake Sleepover(!) and, for kids aged 8+, Science Oxford’s Fire Show. Full details at www.storymuseum.org.uk/whats-on/february-half-term/

Popular children’s entertainer Nick Cope is giving a concert at Barefoot Books in Summertown, 294 Banbury Road OX2 7ED on Tuesday 17 February from 1:30-2:15pm. Tickets £5 per person, big or small. Nick will be playing songs from his new CD The Pirate’s Breakfast, so BFB suggest you give him a treat by coming along in your best pirate costume!

Also at BFB, the Salt Box Music Co. will be running hands-on music sessions for very young children 12-1:15pm on Wednesday 18 February. Go to their website www.saltboxmusic.co.uk/index.php for details of all their activities in and around Oxford.

Again at BFB, there is African drumming 10:30-11:30 am and a magic show 2-3pm on Thursday 19 February, plus an all-day science workshop run by Bright Sparks Science for children aged 5-9 yrs from 9:30am-3:30pm on Friday 20 February. See www.brightsparksscience.co.uk and www.barefootbooks.com/files/8214/2202/5601/BFB_Oxford_Calendar_0215_A3.pdf for everything that’s happening at BFB during February.

For More information Contact Us Here

Voice of the Child

Simon Hughes in his speech to the Family Justice Young People’s Board “Voice of the Child” conference in July 2014, made a commitment to providing children over 10 with the opportunity to be heard in family proceedings. He stated that there will be a dialogue with the family mediation profession about how we make sure that the voice of the child and young person becomes a central part of the process of family mediation. He accepted that it cannot be right that parents mediate an agreement affecting their child or children and then ask the court to make the agreement into a binding order in the absence of the children’s voice being heard.


Children’s voices are often not heard or listened to in the process of separation. In the court process children’s views are often interpreted by adults, with the best of intentions. If parents are able to hear their children’s views directly it can have a profound effect on their approach to finding solutions.

Research has shown that being listened to and heard is much more important to children and young people than actually getting what they want.

A new website has just recently been launched that aims to give children and young people a voice. Kids in the Middle provides help and support to young people aged between 11 and 18 when their families separate. Young people spend a great deal of time on line and on social media. The Kids in the Middle website is an ideal platform for the provision of information and a place young people will feel at home.

Kids in the Middle is a registered charity backed by young people and by family law and mediation firms. Much of the money used to set up the website was raised by young people themselves. On the website young people in separating families can hear the stories of their peers. It is so important that they know they are not alone. The website is by young people for young people. It gives them a voice and shows parents what their children are really thinking and feeling. There are helpful videos on the site and users can upload blogs and videos. Kids in the Middle provides a peer mentoring and counselling service to help improve emotional well being and resilience and to help young people develop positive coping strategies. There are three levels of support: self-help, advice and support and counselling.

Focus Mediators recommend the site to any parents with children aged 11 and over. Kids in the Middle hope to be able to extend the age range to younger children in due course. This is a fantastic resource and we hope it will be able to help many young people who currently feel as though they don’t have a voice in the process of separation.

Focus Mediation has been committed to listening to children where appropriate for many years, long before it became fashionable. Most of our family mediators are trained and CRB checked to consult with children to establish their wishes and feelings, so they can help inform parental decision-making.


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